Update on the I-195 Development now called "The LINK" - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Update on the I-195 Development now called "The LINK"

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis  

mcurtis@abc6.com  

Construction continues at a furious pace on what's come to be known as "The LINK" in Downtown Providence.

Roads are paved, sewers are in, and some lots are sodded, just waiting for the first tenants to move into the I–195 corridor.

"And now we have this real estate and we just want to make sure we're making the best possible decisions, to realize the maximum potential, and we're doing that," said Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) Rhode Island.

Dignitaries gathered to celebrate the construction so far, knowing that as of now, "The LINK" has landed no new tenants.

But about a dozen proposals were received by May 1st, so potential projects are now under consideration.

"This is incredibly exciting. I feel like I'm giving birth. It's the beginning of really about the next 10 to 15 years of unveiling of terrific development," said Jan Brodie, Executive Director of the I-195 Redevelopment Commission.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "All of this new construction in the LINK district presents a possibility of three million new square feet of business space in Downtown Providence."

The link has 19 acres of land for development, with another 8 acres for parks.

But competition for new businesses with other cities is fierce, and the General Assembly may need to create more incentives to lure companies to Rhode Island.

"We'll we have to make the regulatory and tax reform to protect our current businesses and to entice businesses to come in. We just want the best possible economic climate we can have," said House Speaker Nick Mattiello (D) Rhode Island.

Project supporters hope this "Field of Dreams" supports the old saying, "If you build it, they will come!"
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